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West Fargo City Commission: 1 running again, 1 undecided

WEST FARGO - At least one city commissioner will be seeking re-election here this year and another remains officially undecided so far. Mark Simmons' and Mike Thorstad's commission seats will be on the June 12 ballot, along with a couple of park ...

Mark Simmons
West Fargo city commissioner

WEST FARGO - At least one city commissioner will be seeking re-election here this year and another remains officially undecided so far.

Mark Simmons' and Mike Thorstad's commission seats will be on the June 12 ballot, along with a couple of park board seats in West Fargo.

Simmons said Wednesday that he plans to seek a third term to his seat and is making preparations to begin collecting the signatures needed to get on the ballot.

Simmons, a sales consultant, was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.

The eight years he's served on the commission so far coincide with the most drastic growth West Fargo has ever seen.

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Simmons said a lot of huge issues still need to be tackled, such as improving West Fargo's water quality through a possible treatment plant and redeveloping the city's downtown area.

"I'm doing it because I love what I do," Simmons said. "I love it; I enjoy it."

Meanwhile, the same passion for public service applies to Thorstad, but he hasn't yet decided whether to run for re-election.

"I haven't formally decided yet, but I probably will," Thorstad said.

Thorstad, a businessman, was first elected in 2008 and lost a bid for mayor in 2010 to three-term incumbent Rich Mattern.

Since then, Thorstad has used his role on the West Fargo Commission to take a more active role in affairs related to the metro-area diversion project. He represents West Fargo on the nine-member Diversion Authority board that was formed last summer.

"I'd hate to give that up when I just started doing that," Thorstad said. "I have a lot of positive things I'd like to continue to do. I'm sure I will run, but I just haven't gotten into (the election season) yet."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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Mark Simmons
West Fargo city commissioner

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